Maine Roots

A blog about all things Maine


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Made in Maine: Dragonfly Farm and Winery

While my husband and my father were upta camp for deer season in Maine, they made an afternoon trip to a nearby winery – Dragonfly Farm & Winery, located in Stetson, Maine.  This family-owned business is the result of dreaming big – and taking action to make that dream a reality.  As they say on their website, “most importantly, if you want to see how dreams can become reality, look no further. Dragonfly Farm & Winery is our proof that if a family can dream, a family can do.”

Their wines include grape wines and wines made from other fruit – including plum, which is what we tried at here at home the other night.  In addition to operating their vineyard and winery, they also produce maple syrup from the beautiful sugar maples on their property.  Visit them in March to see the French Canadian way of making maple syrup!

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Their wine-making style is the result of a love for German Riesling Style wines, and most of their white wines are hybrids of the Riesling grape.  The white wines include: St. Pepin, Serendipity, Clarity, By The Numbers, Edelweiss, Shorty, and Sweet Louise.  Red wines include: Frontenac, Sabrevois, Jelly Juice, Misbehavin’, Marquette, and St. Croix.  Fruit wines include: Blueberry Bliss, Candle Waster, Raspberry Riot, Rudy, Blackberry Bewitched, Second Chance, Blue Lightning, and Red Thunder.

Their plum wine, Miz Plum, made its holiday season return just in time for my dad and Nick’s visit, and they picked up an extra bottle.  I really enjoyed this wine, which I can admit came as a bit of a surprise.  I typically prefer dry wines, although I do enjoy some chilled, sweeter whites on hot summer days.  There is no doubt that this is a plum wine – you can smell and taste the notes of plum – but it’s very drinkable.  The color is a rosy gold – I found this really interesting – it was a very pretty color with its blush notes.

Pretty!  (picture courtesy of the hubby)

Pretty! (picture courtesy of the hubby)

Although the wine was sweet, it had hints of dryness that made it very enjoyable.  I could certainly see myself sitting on the deck in the summertime, with a chilled glass of Miz Plum, and maybe a nice, spicy cheese.

On another note, the Maine-shaped cutting board pictured above is made of bamboo (a renewable resource) and was a gift to us from my best friends – the lovely and talented Emily and Elisabeth!


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HoME Grown: The Maine Potato

It appears that I come by my love of potatoes quite naturally – after all, one side of my family has a heavy dose of Irish, and the great state of Maine is the fifth-largest potato producing state in the US.  Yum!  It seems only fitting to feature the Maine potato in this HoME Grown post.

potatoes

I enjoy potatoes in almost any form.  My husband calls this a “problem” when I devour an entire bag of salt and vinegar chips in one sitting, or eat my whole baked potato before touching my steak, or… well, you get the idea.  Unfortunately, potatoes have been villainized in recent years for being perceived as ‘unhealthy’ as a result of many popular low carb diets.  The potato can be an incredibly healthy side and important source of nutrients – the key is how you prepare it.

When baked or boiled, the average size potato only has 110 calories.  Compare that against some of the 100-Calorie snacks that are so popular – what is really better for you? A vegetable, or a preserved, packaged snack?  Potatoes are not only naturally fat free, they have more potassium than a banana, more fiber than an apple, and more Vitamin C than an orange.  I’ll be honest – I was as surprised by these facts as you probably are.  Of course, just like everyone else, I like to add butter, sour cream, bacon, salt, and other yummy toppings to my potatoes.  These items do make the potato less healthy, but I am a big believer in moderation in all things – so I use these toppings sparingly and avoid the ‘loaded’ baked potato.

Potatoes grown in Maine that bear the Maine Quality Trademark provide a guarantee that these potatoes are of the highest quality.  In fact, before the potatoes can bear that trademark, they are inspected and pass requirements stricter than the United States Department of Agriculture’s U.S. No. 1 grade.  That’s a great assurance!  To find them, just look for the red, white and blue State of Maine trademark the next time you’re shopping for potatoes. (from the Maine Potato Board)

Maine Potato Field, with blossoms

Maine Potato Field, with blossoms

A few fun facts about potatoes:

  • Clinical studies have concluded that, in fact, due to the vitamins and fiber in a potato, humans could actually survive on them alone with just the addition of a tablespoon of butter or milk (if my husband is reading this, he’s probably horrified and envisioning a long life of nothing but potatoes and butter).
  • “French Fries” were introduced to America when Thomas Jefferson had “potatoes served in a French manner” at a White House dinner.
  • The first people to cultivate potatoes were the Indians in Peru over 4,000 years ago.

The Maine Potato Board is a great resource for information on Maine grown potatoes.  Their two websites, www.saypotato.com and www.mainepotatoes.com, were both great sources of information for me as I wrote this post.

A few upcoming posts that will relate to the Maine potato – a weekly recipe for Northshore Potatoes (decidedly unhealthy, but delicious) and a post on Cold River Vodka (made in Maine, from Maine potatoes).